How to Develop Your Personal Style

develop personal style | Tips for Upgrading your Closet and having a stylish wardrobe

Oftentimes, having to define your personal style is just as difficult as the “tell me about yourself” question. Why is it so hard to narrow down personal style into a succinct description? Usually, it’s because you aren’t exactly sure what your personal style is.

So, why is it important to identify your personal style? It’s simple: you can fix, improve, and evolve what you’re aware of. In the same way that you can’t necessarily fix a flaw you don’t know you have, it’s hard to improve your personal style when you don’t know where to start. Knowing your preferences gives you a baseline when you shop. It helps you shop smarter rather than get distracted by the shiny new trend that you’ll never wear.

Today’s post shares 5 easy tips for helping you identify your personal style. Be sure to check the related posts below, as I’ve shared 3 additional tips previously on the site.


How to Develop Your Personal Style

  • Conduct a closet clean out!

    This is probably the most daunting of the tips provided, but it’s so extremely helpful! I have identified my personal style over the years but still, I like to clean out my closet on a regular basis. Set aside a weekend (because this will take a full day at least) and completely purge your closet. Put everything that brings you joy and that you regularly wear back into your closet, then donate or sell the unloved items.

    No time for a full clean out? Do the hanger trick! Reverse all the hangers in your closet and only turn them around when you wear an item. After 30 days or so, review what items haven’t been touched and decide if you want to donate them or incorporate them into your wardrobe.

  • Create a mood board.

    Your vision/mood board can include outfits you like, but this is thinking more broadly. Create a vision board that encapsulates your personality and is indicative of your lifestyle. Where do you like to travel? What colors do you gravitate towards? What stores do you frequent? What kind of music vibe do you go for? Put your personality on display and you’ll soon be able to translate that into wearable sty

  • Try out a capsule wardrobe challenge.

    This was MAJOR in helping me narrow down my personal style. There are so many style challenges out there that you can research, but they all focus on sticking with staple items for a designated amount of time. I completed Project 333 a few years ago and documented what I took from the challenge, so be sure to read that here.

    Ultimately, you limit yourself to wearing a certain number of items (like 33 pieces) for a designated amount of time (like 3 months) and see how you feel at the end. Were there any pieces you wore to the bone? Anything in your closet you wished you included? This completely helps you see the expectations vs reality when it comes to developing your personal style.

  • Take a step back.

    By taking a step back, I simply mean unplug a bit from your daily style digest. I love Pinterest and Instagram as much as the next girl, but sometimes the trick of repetition convinces us that we love a trend we actually wouldn’t wear.

    Coordinated sets may fill your Instagram feed and 70s pants may cover Pinterest, but do either of those truly fit your personal style? If you hadn’t seen the brands or products 20x a day, would you have gravitated towards them? This is a super easy tip that you can incorporate for a day, a weekend, or even just a week and notice a difference in your taste. Plus, your wallet will thank you!

  • (Window) shop alone and trust your instincts.

    Shopping with friends is done for social reasons, while shopping alone is done with a purpose. Even though I’m not the biggest fan of going to the stores and shopping in person, it’s sometimes necessary to see and feel the fabrics, figure out your sizing, and just get inspired.

    For the purposes of developing your personal style, take a trip out to your local mall and window shop at several stores, including ones you don’t normally frequent. Try on things that immediately catch your eye and snap pictures so you remember. Without a friend there to provide feedback, you’re able to grasp what trends you do and don’t like.


You don’t have to try all of the above tips, but I do recommend picking at least two and spending some time paying attention to your style. Once you’re self-aware, the fun can begin! (The next step is shopping with alignment!)


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How to Have a Stylish Year

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